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Algorithmic and Convolution Reverb.

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Fátima Teixeira

on 27 November 2013

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Transcript of Algorithmic and Convolution Reverb.

Algorithmic and Convolution Reverb
Hi! I'm Fátima Teixeira from Portugal and this is my work for Week 5 Assignment in Introduction to Music Production Course with Loudon Stearns in Coursera.com!

Today I will compare and contrast an algorithmic and convolution reverb; and I will try to demonstrate the difference and the important features in both types of reverb.

There are audio examples, so put your audio ON! :-)
First...what is reverb?
Reverb (or Reverberation) is the persistence of sound in a particular space after the original sound is produced. It is created when a sound is produced in an enclosed space causing a large number of echoes to build up and then slowly decay as the sound is absorbed by the walls and air.

in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reverberation
Types of Reverb
Based on the technology the reverb plugins use they are divided in two categories:

-> Algorithmic Reverb

-> Convolution Reverb
Algorithmic Reverb
Convolution Reverb
Convolution reverb uses real sound samples, recorded from real rooms (or modified but based on real recordings in some cases) known as “Impulse Responses”. It is kind of like the samplers as opposed to synthesizers. It is a sampled “snapshot” of a room’s decay characteristics by capturing the acoustics of a room using multiple microphones and producing an IR file for you. The reverb plug-in then filters your sound through this impulse response to generate a “believable organic tail” based on the characteristics of a real room.
There is no rule for what type of reverb to choose. I think that each one has its own sound quality, and neither one is “wrong” unless it does not sound right in the context of your music. Try to experiment what “sense of space” you want to create!
Algorithmic reverb creates a reverb from a formula like a synthesizer creates sound. It synthesizes a room’s characteristics by creating algorithms that generate a particular number of reflections, subject them to high-frequency damping, add pre-delay, simulate a particular room size. It is a mathematical representation.
[PLAYING: drum midi track without any effect! You will see the difference next]
This is RoomWorks, an algorithmic reverb in my cubase:
When creating an algorithmic reverb you divide the room up into 2 separate components, the early reflections and the diffuse reverb. The early reflections are a set of short delays. Parameters to control early reflections usually include a pre-delay to delay the start of the reverb, an algorithm control of the space such as room shape and room size, and stereo controls. The diffuse reverb control is focused on time manipulation to give a sense of the space you are trying to recreate. This is usually kept below two seconds, depending on the size you are trying to emulate.
[PLAYING: drum midi track with RoomWorks - algorithmic reverb]
We can see a brief description when we click in "information"!
[PLAYING: drum midi track with REVerence - NY Studio preset]
[PLAYING: drum midi track with REVerence - LA Studio preset]
[PLAYING: drum midi track with REVerence - Large Viennese Hall preset]
Algorithmic vs Convolution
- recreate the reverb of a non-existent place
- are strictly computer generated
- tend to sound fake
- have far more flexibility to edit the algorithm’s parameters
- needs much less CPU power

- recreate the reverb of a real existing place (Large Viennense Hall, LA Studio)
- use pre-recorded audio samples
- are more natural / “real life”
- more flexible to load different impulses (tunnels, big halls, ...) and obtain entirely different sounds
- needs a lot of CPU power

I hope you liked my assignment. Thank you very much for reading and for leaving any comment!
See you next week!
Fátima Teixeira
November 2013
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